The National Oil Corporation (NOC) said, on Saturday, that an armed militia is preventing the maintenance of a pipeline of Sharara oil field, which raises the specter of a real environmental tragedy.
In a statement on Facebook, the NOC said “The armed militia headed by “Abd al-Karim al-Roni” prevented the maintenance teams from opening Hamada valve in “Alriyayna” area in order to pump chemicals through the transmission lines of Sharara field to protect them from corrosion.
It indicated that the illegal closure of oil installations has caused technical problems, resulting in the corrosion and breakdown of some supplying lines, which in turn, lead to the leakage of crude residues. “To fix this problem chemicals should be pumped once again through these pipelines,” NOC explained.
The NOC has addressed the public prosecution and the concerned authorities to investigate the incident and arrest those responsible for such acts, insisting that the NOC is a purely economic body whose task is to manage the oil sector and support the national economy.
While the NOC did not clarify to whom the militia belongs, it called on the elders and dignitaries of Zintan city in the western mountain region located near Alriyayna area to prioritize the national interest over any other consideration and lift the social and legal cover on the perpetrators.
It urged them to cooperate with the Public Prosecution Office in order to bring those responsible for such acts to justice.
The halting of oil operation by a group of Haftar’s loyalists has cost the state so far more than $ 5 billion USD. This sum could have been used to confront the Coronavirus pandemic and pay the salaries of employees, or invested in developing schools and hospitals, NOC underlined.